6

Harvest envy thread

In college, I learned to always study for finals in the library. Why? In the library, when I looked around and saw other students surrounded by empty coffee cups who had been there since 6 am. I felt behind and got back to work. If I tried to study in the dorm, I looked around and saw people goofing off, said to myself ‘well, I studied six hours today, that’s a lot more than them, I’m probably fine.”

What’s my point? Seeing Redneck’s thread about muscadines (including buckets of grapes at the end) is pretty motivating to get my own vines planted. 

So, to keep each other motivated to plant crops, learn to forage new things etc. I think we should start posting envy pictures of our harvests. To get us going, here’s a pic of three pounds of juicy ripe figs I foraged from feral plants in the neighborhood (I got about three harvests this size this year). 

I also got a similar sized batch of wild pawpaws, but neglected to take any pictures.

2022-08-31 18.29.41

13

  • Comments (13)

    • 2

      How do you like your wild pawpaws?  I have 4 of the Peterson pawpaws coming to me any day now as they already shipped.  I’ve never had a pawpaw before but they seem to be a no spray fruit and I am switching over much of my orchard to no spray varieties, such as jujube and pawpaw.

      I’m like you.  When I read of other folk’s success in growing things, it motivates me to keep on keeping on and to keep trying new things.  And yes, muscadines are a no spray fruit that is super easy to grow.

      BTW, beautiful harvest!  I’m envious.   🙂

      • 1

        I understand some wild pawpaws taste terrible, but I’ve never had that experience. In my area, they’re sweet and mild once they’re fully ripe. They don’t store very well, but that’s usually not a problem, as at least 1/3 of them disappear before I even get home. 

        The texture of a pawpaw is very custard-y in a way that’s uncommon outside the tropics. Some people find it off-putting. It also makes it hard to eat one neatly. I usually just break it in half, suck out the pulp, spit out the seeds. 

        It has more fats/proteins/calories than most fruits as well; several pawpaws make a pretty satisfying lunch and the Lewis and Clark expedition apparently survived solely on pawpaws for several weeks. 

    • 1

      Wow,  wild figs!  Don’t think I’ll have much luck finding them in Indiana.  However, upon consulting my favorite Hoosier mail-order nursery, I have discovered that there is a variety that can survive here.  Now I just need to figure out where I can plant it & convince my wife that it’s a good idea.  LOL

      • 1

        My understanding is they like it warm… warmer even than my farm in north Mississippi.  Seems like zone 8 is as cold as they like but maybe some varieties have been adapted to cooler weather.  They will grow well in a pot but otherwise I’d suggest growing them on the south side of the house, up close to the house.  That will give it winter sun & maybe some thermal heating from the mass of the house.

      • 1

        The ‘Chicago Hardy’ variety of fig (and feral offspring thereof) grows like a weed in Zone 7. Supposedly you can grow it down to zone 5, but in zones 5 and 6 you need to cover it for the winter, and that sounds like too much work. 

    • 3

      Zucchini

      Here’s our zucchini plant. It’s produced 5 monsters so far with another 3 on the way. 

      We have some raised beds with carrots but are waiting for them to sweeten up. I guess if they go through a few freeze-thaw cycles it makes them sweeter.

      Hopefully next year we will have a much larger garden! Improving each year.

    • 2

      I have nothing to brag about, this has been the worst gardening year of my life!  First it was too cold and wet to get a summer garden planted, so I put a bunch of stuff in the newly built “hoop house”.  But that end of the garden isn’t well developed and even though I applied amendments according to a soil test, things did poorly.  (Our soil is terrible.) Plus, it’s been exceedingly hot for our area once summer got here.  I tried more short/cool season veggies since there was no time to ripen summer plants. I got a little of this and that.  Now I’ve got it mostly planted to fall/winter vegetables, but the moles and voles have discovered easy digging in the drip irrigated rows, either eating seedlings or pushing them out of the ground.  Quail have also been scavenging in there. 

      I soldier on.  Have been trying electronic mole repellers with limited success.  Just set a trap with little expectation of success.  When it rains again will spread castor oil mole repeller around the perimeter. 

      The mole has also worked its way up my new row of thornless blackberries.  Some plants didn’t make it.

      Underground pests here are so bad.  It appears that a gopher has just upended the concrete bird bath.

      I will become a savage mole/vole/gopher hunter.

      Everybody wants what you have.

      • 2

        Been the worst year for me too… by far.  We had an exceedingly hot early summer, but the late summer has been much cooler, until this week.  We are back to 100 degree days for a bit.

        Looks like rabbits have gotten into my young bush beans, I planted late in hopes of getting a crop in before frost.  About half have been eaten.

        I generally try to follow the practices of the native Americans by planting more than I need.  They plan on the wildlife taking a share.  However, sometimes they take too much and then you have to declare war.  🙂

      • 1

        Well, at least our prodigious population of bunnies and ground squirrels didn’t invade.  We have a short electro-net varmint fence around the garden proper.  And the garden is also fenced against deer. 

      • 1

        Barb, You may want to try one of these soil testers next year if you say your soil is so terrible.

        https://theprepared.com/blog/how-to-use-a-rapitest-at-home-soil-test-to-figure-out-what-your-garden-needs/

        Growing up we always put down a layer of top soil each year to keep feeding the earth we planted in. Seemed to help.

      • 2

        Thanks Gideon.  I’m a faithful subscriber to a method of balanced soil remineralization that was basically founded by the head of the Soils dept of the U of Missouri (William Albrecht, Ph.D) back in the mid-late 20th century, and carried on by the lab where I get my tests run.  My problem is starting out with “ten million year old lava, weathered to red clay”, and the part of the garden where the tunnel is located hasn’t yet received enough remineralization to get the soil cycling properly yet.  We just treated it like the rest of the garden, which has years of soil balancing. It just takes time and patience. But in my experience, the end result is quite amazing.

      • 3

        My sympathies, Barb! My garden was almost a total failure. No zuch’s at all, no squash, cantelope grew to about softball size and then each one dried up and shrank, literally overnight! Biggest issue was high heat and no bees, etc. to help pollinate.

        I discovered to great surprise that chipmunks love tomatoes, and so spent the summer trapping them, but not before they devoured most of our  tomatoes, especially the beefsteaks. We ate some fresh, but wife was only able to can two quarts.

        Our cherry tomatoes faired better until a sudden invasion of tiny green inch worms. Almost overnight they devoured the leaves, then wiped out the tomatoes. Fortunately it was toward the end of the season, but I’ll still have to learn how to manage for them next season.

        This was our first big garden, so I’m learning lots and will be better next year. After all, our okra did great so there is hope! 

      • 2

        A prominent garden writer from the Pacific NW wrote something to this effect:  “You should probably not try to garden (in the PNW) if you can’t stand failure.” 

        And here’s a lighthearted quote about the weather that’s plagued gardeners everywhere this year, that seems particularly relevant to preppers!

        “Yes, the weather is bad, and if I were dealing in weather it is not the brand I would put up in cans for future use.”

        Next year will be better!